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Weekly Update from the Field June 12, 2003
* Update from the Field
* Poem for the Lost Calf
* 2002-2003 BFC Newsletter Nears Completion

*Update from the Field

Friends of the buffalo,
The transition to our summer campaign is complete. The buffalo have returned to the park and are currently migrating east, toward Yellowstone's Hayden Valley.
Our information tabling season began June 2nd near the Mammoth visitor's center. We have been meeting many supporters and informing those who had no idea about the harassment and slaughter of the Yellowstone buffalo of what happens when they are not around. Many of these folks have walked away from our table with a new appreciation for the importance of protecting the buffalo, a national treasure. If you are planning a trip to Yellowstone this winter be sure to look us up. We'll be in Yellostone and Grand Teton National Parks all summer and we'd love to meet you in person.

After we are finished tabling for the day we often go and sit with the buffalo. It feels good to know they will have time to rest and build their strength for the summer rut and next winter.

This season ended on a sad note. A second baby died from a hazing operation on Friday, May 27th. The Department of Livestock (DOL) began hazing twenty buffalo on Tuesday the 24th. As they often do, the agents ran the herd through a barbed wire fence and paid no attention to the newborn calves who were trying to keep up with their families. A just-born baby was badly injured due to the DOL's inhumane and abusive tactics. Only after the calf had been weakened to the point of not being able to walk did the DOL agents finally leave it and its mother alone.

We stayed in the area day and night to monitor the calf's condition, giving she and her mother plenty of space. We documented a big gash to one knee and wounds in the baby's side. The mother repeatedly tried to get her baby to walk and catch up with the herd but the baby didn't have the strength. On Wednesday the DOL and a Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer came to haze the mama and baby back into the park.

As reported in our last update, four Women from the Campaign stood between the mama and baby and the agents, joining hands and singing. One Forest Service agent approached the women but they kept on singing and paid no attention to him. The agents soon left, leaving the mamma and the calf alone. On Friday our patrol found the calf dead. The DOL came out and hazed the mama away, put the baby in a plastic bag, and carried her away for testing and examination.

The mama would not leave the area where she had spent the previous three and a half days trying to nurse her baby to health. We stood with her because she had no protection without her family. Like buffalo do, her family had been with her on the sunny south side of Horse Butte when she gave birth. They had even tried to stay together as they were chased at gunpoint, hollered at, and harassed for nearly ten miles.

Although we spend lots of magical times in the Gallatin National Forest, every now and then we witness the difficult times the Buffalo have to endure at the hands of the human race. Sometimes when buffalo are killed we hold a ceremony, sitting together to honor the buffalo and give thanks to the lessons they continue to bring us.

When we finished our ceremony on Horse Butte, the momma Buffalo came out of the sage brush, approached us, and grunted several times. She went to the ceremony site where her baby had just died and sniffed the area. We got up and walked away, leaving her alone. For us, these are the inspirational moments that remind us of our connections and give us the strength to continue standing strong with the Buffalo.

For the Buffalo,
Megan Fishback
Robert Sanchez
We lost a family member,
a new to this world calf
directly linking us to the
magic that only open hearts feel
that only open ears hear.

In just a few days of life
baby buffalo brought us together
baby buffalo brought us close
baby buffalo brings us wisdom
thank you, baby buffalo, for your infinite love.

you were in the hills,
you were in the hills,
you were in the hills,
in harmony.

poem by Robert Sanchez

2002-2003 BFC Newsletter Nears Completion
We are in the final stages of laying out our 2002-2003 newsletter. This year's addition features up to date information on the plight of the Yellowstone herd, suggestions on how you can help protect the bison, updates on BFC efforts, and a fun and informative children's page. If you are not already on our mailing list and would like to receive a newsletter, please reply to this email with your mailing address

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